Rona diaries

It’s been since March 20th that we have been unable to go anywhere but grocery or home improvement stores.  Our governor has extended the stay home order until May 4th and has upset many people in the state. Protests are growing in Wisconsin, Michigan, and other states and it’s reaching a boiling point.  Personally, if he extends past May 4, I expect it to get pretty bad in MN too.

Why has he upset them?

With 1.2-2.5 million out of work, extending this stay home order is keeping them from income.  On top of that, he is using a model that goes against 80% of the other models out there and shows 10 times the deaths that other models are projecting for our state.  We have people getting reporting from CNN rather than the CDC and it’s causing panic.  People are so worried about this virus that they are overlooking the fact that if the economy bottoms out because everyone hides away, we either stream a lifetime of crippling debt to our offspring’s great grandkids, or we have seniors and vulnerable adults unable to buy food, housing, insurance, etc because their retirement incomes have disappeared due to the economy crashing.

What do the models have to do with this?

The models are being used by state and federal governments to assess death estimates, as well as project how many hospital beds and staff will be required to treat the sick.  In March, they showed 2 million dead in the US by July if we all stayed home and “flattened the curve”.  They have been reassessed 4 times since then and are showing around 65k – 100k deaths in the US by year end.  Our governor’s model shows Minnesota will have 20k-200k deaths in our state alone.  Other states are reopening soon, like Texas, Florida, and others, while states like Iowa and Nebraska, who have level headed governors have no “official” shut everything down orders.  Hospitals across the nation are laying off staff because there is no rush for critical care and cAusing even more unemployment.  An Oklahoma hospital even closed because it had no one there to treat.  People that need elective surgeries and medical procedures (even some cancer therapies) can’t be seen until stay home orders are lifted, which risks pushing our deaths further.  On top of that, those without work are pushing debt down the road and lining up a wall of debt that may end up crushing them if they cannot start working soon.  Some in our state are upset and are planning legal protests and civil disobedience within the following weeks as a result.

Isn’t this virus dangerous?

Well yes and no.  So far, death rates of people showing severe symptoms are just under 2%.  The problem here is there are several known but not always effective treatments, and hospitals are refusing to admit or see patients who are showing mild treatments, which essentially denies them treatment until they get into a situation where symptoms are severe or critical, which increases their chance of dying when it could have been treated at mild or medium stages.  On top of that, hospitals are laying off nurses due to projections being miscalculated, so it is crippling the economy more.  95% of all cases are mild or asymptomatic, but those in the at-risk category are definitely a higher risk of death.  Smokers, those with heart or kidney issues, asthmatics, immune-compromised, or the elderly are the highest risk of death.  That said, it is definitely something that we should take seriously, but also handle intelligently, which we are currently not doing. , NJ, NY, MI, and LA make up a majority of the deaths, and many that died had underlying health conditions.  There is definitely a way to let healthy people keep working and lower risk of infection, while still keeping the at-risk in a minimal-risk scenario.  I don’t know exactly how in every detail, but it is possible.  Those that are scared can stay home.

So that’s where we are at.  The US and other countries are stuck with rising death and suffering and a risk of more death & suffering because of this virus that China (as the data shows) released, even if it was accidentally.  Many states saw the estimates decrease and yet their stay home dates were pushed, and it’s frustrating them. I don’t blame them for being frustrated, and I don’t blame anyone for wanting to protect any at-risk person in their life, but there has to be a middle ground.

Are you concerned?

Not at all, for myself, but I worry about friends and loved ones…not just because of the virus, but also the unemployment and the businesses that will fail over the next few months.

We don’t need a government check, we don’t need a mandated vaccine for this (MERS and SARS didn’t either), we just need to let people that want to stay home stay in their home and people that want to work go back to work in a responsible way.

 

 

Avoid the Rona.

So the term here is now “social distancing”.  We essentially stay home and don’t have people over and don’t go to other people’s houses.  My wife and I do that on a regular basis, but the big change here is working from home and having both kids home too.  My daughter will resume school this next week, from home, and my son just gets to hang with us.

I don’t have an issue with this, but it seems to be a hard thing for people to get the hang of.  If we want this virus to “burn out”, and infect less people, we can’t be running around with infected and uninfected people mingling together, leaving virus all over.  Essentially, it’s like a complicated version of farting at a school dance…if a dude farts, everyone scoots away and everyone knows who did it and those nearby, try not to “smell the popcorn”.  In this case, we all need to move away from each other and let this virus (fart) run the course with no new transmission, because we can’t tell who is or isn’t infected 100% of the time.

The “at-home” phase of this obviously creates issues.  Economically, with nonessential businesses shut down, we have a ton of people that are unemployed, and that is never a good thing.  In addition to the unemployment, business is taking a huge hit, stock market is hovering around 20k, and elective medical procedures are on hold. Life is paused, but not paused- like pausing a movie but still seeing the scenes change even though characters are frozen.

Today, our governor, who I am typically NOT a fan of, presented realistic data showing that we need to continue the sheltering for two more weeks, and outlined that this isn’t to reduce the number infected, but to give more time to increase supply and treatment options.  After April 10, it looks like we may be business as usual, with modification…social distancing, etc.,.  I was happy to see him and his team using a data driven approach to this issue.

So, we continue to live life as normal (somewhat).  The gym being closed sucks, but it looks like Easter is the timeline.

Sean

 

Coronavirus

So there are few things that would warrant a return to a blog I walked away from, but a serious virus is one of them.

Coronavirus is working itself across the WORLD today, leaving a path of recovered, sick, critically sick, and dead behind it.  Yes, most people are reported to be able to recover from it, but all death is a loss to someone.

This appears to have first shown up in China in November of 2019. It was suppressed by Chinese media until end of December 2019.  By that point, hundreds had died and thousands were infected.  Total dead in China now is reported to be 3200.

It hit the EU, UK, and US.  Our president and a team of experts acted, but our stock market took a hit.  It is rumored the lack of testing kits will lead to many more confirmed cases once testing kits are made available…mainly because sick may be walking among the healthy.  Frankly, I am surprised more private companies haven’t stepped up to do testing innovation or vaccine development.

Many large companies are having people work from home in an effort to keep the illness contained and reduce the strain on medical systems if the virus hit a large workplace.

People are being asked to avoid large social gatherings, but large groups of people are buying up food and safety goods like crazy.  It’s surreal to see so many empty shelves in grocery stores.  Hoarders are assholes…especially the ones reselling it at high prices.

Bernie Sanders is really trying like hell to market his Medicare for all plan to the US, but seeing how horrible socialized medicine is for the UK and EU right now, I think it’s turning more people away.  Our president is staying on top of this, and the media and Congress seem like they are trying to do him in with this, even though it all points to China being the culprit and it seems like some, who don’t care about the well-being of others are just going about life without a care…then potentially spreading it around.  I don’t think we all need to stay home, but we shouldn’t be flooding bars and social gatherings either.

There are rumors of zinc, and antiviral herbs prolonging wellness for some, but it is more likely attributed to social distancing and good hygiene practices.

There is word of vaccines being available by year end or early 2021.  No confirmation.  Some countries are closing their borders and locking down entire countries to keep this at bay in the meantime.

No one sick in my family or extended family so far.  No friends I know of have the virus either.  The crappy part is there is so much information on the internet…some say it’s super deadly, most reliable news sources say it’s not, but immune compromised and elderly are at highest risk.  Some say it caused decreased lung capacity, others show no symptoms.  Some say there are secrets the government’s aren’t talking about (bullshit),a others say they are in affected areas and don’t see anyone sick (more bullshit).  Tom Hanks and his wife have it, according to media reports. Some NBA guy has it too.  What is known is that it is very contagious, but millenials are traveling like they’re immune (they are not).

We have food to last a few weeks, but will likely need to visit the grocery store in that time.  Hopefully the hoarding has stopped by then and we all remain healthy.

Other than this worldwide virus, life has been good.  Work is great, family is good, and it was smooth sailing until this thing came along.

Don’t know if I will have more to post down the road, just wanted to document this.

 

 

 

Farewell

I started this whole thing just over ten years ago, while mending a broken heart.  I would drink scotch and just write what was on my mind.

The funny thing is, other people took notice.

Soon after I started the site, I was flooded with readers asking for advice, giving words of encouragement, and offering up rants/music/perspectives, among other things.

While continuing on that path, I also came into contact with various vendors and started doing product reviews.  It was a fantastic gig, but I was soon up to my eyeballs in product with not enough time to review in my spare time and not enough income to make it a full time thing, so I started declining requests and went back to basic posts.

I then met the woman who is now my wife.

What started off as a fantastic couple of dates, became an engagement, and a marriage, and now marriage with two kids (one “shared” and one of our own). Life got busy pretty fast.

Readers kept insisting I get back to product reviews, so I gave in and lined up a few more.  Supplements are my thing, and tech is a fun passion of mine, so the last round of reviews I did were were enjoyable, but I stopped shortly after.   A few vendors wanted video reviews, wanted me to do things I wasn’t comfortable with, and wanted SO much time spend editing and taking action shots or video that it became “un-fun”. Vendors started trying to make influencers out of reviewers and that’s always a biased mess.

By this time, I’d also started getting harassing emails from people that didn’t like my perspectives, didn’t like my advice, and didn’t like my reviews.  I am relatively thick skinned, so it didn’t bother me personally and I didn’t respond to all of them.  The persistence of those I DID respond to was not a great experience, however.  Since 2009, the world has become a place where people begin to despise someone who doesn’t think like they do or see things the way they see them.  Once I shared my conservative leaning views or my Christian beliefs, these “complainers” got vicious. I am a pretty loving guy, and I don’t care what your sexual preference is, what your religion is, or where you lean politically.  I know where I stand on these things and that’s all that matters to me.

I’d get sick  of  fending them off and take a break every now and then and come back refreshed, only to be bombarded with negative emails by these dozen or so people.

I decided today that I’m leaving.  Rather than fend off these “haters” as we once named them, I’ve decided there is way too much beauty in this world to let someone piss on my cornflakes.  I’m taking my adventures and my family and heading out into this world.  I’ll still leave this site up for a bit, but it’ll be a standing home with no one inside.  I may even decide to move this site in addition to my real home…who knows.  It’ll be fun either way.

The world isn’t black and white, there is no great conspiracy to keep people down, the only hate in this world is the hate you “think you feel”, and understand this – people don’t have to pick a side over every little thing.  Just relax and be content in your views, but acknowledge that others may have other views (both good and bad) that don’t jive with yours.  In the end, none of this really amounts to anything.  In the end, it’s between you and God.  Work hard, love, push your limits, and pray.  Life is beautiful and you have been wonderful.

Thanks for the adventures everyone.

Sean

What about the preworkout?

Fog wrote

I read your post on protein yesterday and was curious, what are your buying tips for finding good preworkout powders?

Fog

Fog

I have 5 rules here:

1. It should taste amazing. So far, nothing has beaten Valhalla Labs’ Fenris Fury in this arena.

2. None of that stevia b.s.- stevia may be a sweetener in theory but I feel it makes things taste nasty. To compensate for “off” taste, manufacturers throw in all sorts of other crap.

3. Nothing less than 4g citrulline, unless there is a equal or greater dose of AAKG in it.

4. No preworkout should cost more than $2 a serving. If it does, you’re paying for marketing and not quality.

5. Buy from A1 Supplements, Suppz, the Manufacturer, or Amazon.

I don’t know if you’re looking for specific brands, but Valhalla Labs and MuscleForce are my two favorite brands in this arena. Black Magic Supply is a close second. As far as taste goes, my motto is nothing lemon tea flavored (they taste like crap) and nothing flavored like cocktails (it won’t taste like the cocktail – and why would you want to combine the taste of alcohol with working out?).

One final thing- do not pour preworkout powder directly into your mouth. It’s insanely corrosive without water and it will kill your tooth enamel.

Good luck.

Sean

Not all protein has to taste “off”

Anonymous wrote:

Hey, I came across this site a few days ago when I saw a link to a post from 2015. I have a question. Is there a protein powder that doesn’t taste “off”? I was doing Beachbody and Isogenix and can’t stand the taste or texture of any of those. Beachbody Cafe Latte is the absolute worst! I tried Thrive (I think that’s what it is called) and couldn’t stop gagging, and the GNC protein is the awful, but their sales people must be brainwashed because they all say it’s delicious. How do you take protein if it tastes like garbage?

Anonymous

Anonymous,

I am no fan of the brands you named either, but different people have different tastes and some of those companies offer more than just protein.

Here are the three brands I swear by:

Dymatize- Chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla flavors are good across the board and it mixes and blends well. No amino spiking either.

Sparta Nutrition- Vanilla is an absolute winner and the fruit loopish cereal one is awesome. I like all of their flavors, except the one that is supposed to be like Cinnamon Toast Crunch. It’s disgusting. No protein company has gotten that flavor 100% correct.

Outlaw Vanilla Protein- Vanilla and Chocolate taste great and it has CLA for extra fat burning.

No 5lb protein should cost over $59 and buy from manufacturer, on supplement sites like Suppz or A1 Supplements, or Amazon.

As I have said in the past, Vanilla is the standard I measure a protein by because it is the most versatile flavor due to the variety of what it can be blended with it. A crappy Vanilla flavor can throw off an entire smoothie. Over the years, I’ve tried several dozen protein brands and hundreds of flavors. I recommend staying away from GNC brands and BSN as they are often overpriced and have horrible flavors. GNCs AMP Vanilla tastes like burned plastic.

Finally, if you’re a coffee drinker, try Chike protein. Great coffee flavor and very smooth when mixed with milk. I get mine at HyVee.

There are a few other brands out there, and you have to try some samples before committing. Look for sample packs on the manufacturers’ websites for these.

Good luck

Sean

At the end of the world

I was recently lectured for using a plastic straw. Not a 3 foot straw…just a straw. The worst part was the woman that was lecturing me was holding a plastic Starbucks cup.

I’ll let you know right now that I am not a believer in the theory that the world is ending with in 12 years, nor do I believe that the world is in some kind of awful ecological shape. I also don’t fully subscribe to some of the science out there predicting where we will be in the future because of supposed global warming. It’s not that I don’t believe global warming exists, but I don’t think it the man-made portion is anywhere near the magnitude that some scientists say it is.

On the other hand, I do believe in land conservation, sustainable farming practices, and most of all, I believe littering is one of the worst things anyone could do to our earth.

The woman lecturing me rubbed me the wrong way because she epitomizes how I see many “eco-warriors” act today; they want to save the world but are often littering outdoor concert venues, beaches, and other outdoor spaces with their trash rather than putting it in a garbage or recycling can. These “social media ecology warriors” rage against things like plastic straws while rejecting aluminum and steel containers which are more sustainable and less damaging to the environment as plastic or paper (we need those trees). They viciously support moving to solar and wind energy (which are proven to cause massive bird deaths), rather than lobbying to support nuclear energy development and advances, and they flock to large cities which only adds to urban sprawl. They also throw cups/plates/paper products with food waste on it into recycling bins, which can ruin an entire load of recycling. Think about how many times you’ve seen a pizza box in recycling…it cannot be recycled.

Many of these people don’t want to farm, but many want to be a vegan who “sometimes” eats animal products. On the west coast, human waste on the street is washing into the ocean and causing marine die offs because we aren’t fixing a housing crisis – we are expecting taxes to fix a problem that requires an industry shift. I feel if people started passing up Silicon Valley jobs until the companies contributed to affordable housing or if people stopped renting/buying housing in San Fran, L.A. or Mountain View, the market could begin to correct itself.

Finally, these people also support vigorous legislation rather than shifting an industry by encouraging business competition, knowing legislation requires tax money to support it, people to manage it, more paper shuffling, more transportation, and more waste overall.

It’s easy to lecture someone about what you believe in, while not following the same guidelines. It’s easy to “share” a picture or video to try and sway others opinions. It’s not so easy to actually do the right thing and practice long term solutions, is it?

I eat meat & use plastic straws. I don’t always recycle. I don’t compost my food. I make a conscious decision to drive myself rather than taking public transit. I drink water from plastic bottles (sometimes from steel cups). These are all short term decisions. When I look at where we want to be in 12 years or even 30 years, we aren’t making good decisions because we’re doing the trendy thing and not the smart thing.

Before you go on bragging about your eco-progress or start lecturing someone (or supporting disastrous legislation), think about the bigger picture. Ask yourself if your action really fixes the problem long term, or if this going to result in a poorly managed subsequent problem. Support nuclear power (it’s killed less people and animals worldwide than any other energy source), invent something that revolutionizes an industry, learn to farm, recycle properly, eat balanced meals, and for God’s sake, pick up your damn garbage.